Some days are just really hard.
I recently had one of those days. Pregnancy wasn't treating me too kindly. Every single muscle in my body hurt. Full term, anxious, and ready to pop at any day with a seven pound baby showing off his martial art skills inside, is just not pleasant. On top of that, I'm pretty sure my son bruised one of my ribs, leaving me with even more limited mobility and very painful breathing. Yes, the baby can fracture your ribs while pregnant, it was news to me too. A sick and restless two year old running around our messy house, adding to this mamas slowly rising blood pressure.
It can be so easy to let all of the emotions overtake you when the violent throws of motherhood just don't seem to let up. There are those days when no amount of alone time can bring relief. Your prayer time looks more like five minutes of speed reading the same verse over and over because you keep getting distracted, and mostly because you forgot what you just read. Your husband attempts to encourage & comfort you to no avail. When the walls of the house seem to cave in around you. The laundry seems to be symbolic of the chaos within your disoriented mind. The loads of dirty dishes mock you. Oh, and then there's that damn triple reheated cup of coffee you can never quite seem to finish. You've stepped on one too many blocks. When you want to respond to your hyper toddler in patience, but instead respond with the absolute ugliest version of yourself. There's that list of a hundred things you have to get done but cant even finish one. When you are full of complaints and negativity.
When motherhood just sucks.
In these moments, we can only do so much in our own strength. Here are a few practical things that have helped me get realigned with reality, when I have a day in motherhood that is far less than perfect.
// ASK FOR HELP.
Sometimes as women, we can get so conditioned to an insane amount of multitasking, that we don't even know when we have actually passed the point of no return in a world of exhaustion. Sometimes you just need to give yourself permission to ask for some extra help. You know that friend that recently said, "If you need anything, just let me know!" or "If there is anything I can do, just call me." Psst!...Now would be the time to take her up on the offer. You are not a failure as a mom for accepting the extra hand. It is wisdom and you are a better mom for it.
Maybe no one has offered anything. Maybe you just need to stick your neck out there and reach out to whoever is in your corner and just simply ask. If it's a matter of needing a break from the kids or maybe you can't even afford a babysitter for date night or moms night, offer to trade babysitting nights with a friend. You offer to watch their kids for one night, and in return they watch yours. Where there's a will there's a way, right?
// LET STUFF GO.
I think a lot of women can have a really hard time relaxing if their house is messy. I can definitely be one of those women. You may just need to literally and physically let some stuff go. If you can pin point that the cleanliness of your house, (or lack thereof) is a major contributor to your high anxiety and stress, then get rid of any and unnecessary clutter around your house. Throw all those extra clothes and toys in a bag and just donate it. (Frugal mamas, this means NOT organizing and selling it on those Facebook swap shops for just one day in your life.) Maybe you are the opposite and need to let go of control for a day and just let your house be messy. Take a day and don't do the dishes after dinner. Don't worry about the laundry. Let them eat leftovers or better yet, cereal. They will all survive.
Or if you are always on the go with countless extra social responsibilities, you may consider canceling a few of those obligations or appointments. Sometimes, "letting go" means you just need to scale back on that to do list and calendar and just kindly but firmly say "No."
Stay home and do whatever helps you relax. Go out alone and grab a nice cup of hot coffee that you can actually take the uninterrupted time to drink. Sit in your car in complete silence. Smell the roses. Listen to Tupac.
Whatever letting go looks like to you, be honest with yourself and just do your thing.
// BREATHE AND RECEIVE. Repeat.
The weary, whispered prayer of a mother does not go unheard and ignored. So even if you don't get that peaceful, hour long devotional you used to have when you were single, pray anyway. Lock yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes and just pray anyway. Yes, even the "God, I need your f***ing help." prayers count. Don't believe for one second that your weak and scattered prayer for strength is any less important in the sight of God, than someone else in critical need. Pray anyway. He cares for that stay at home mom who feels like she just can't give anymore. He cares for the mother working overtime at her day job, watching the clock, & worrying if her kids are okay. He cares for that single mom doing everything she can just to make ends meet and to put food on the table. He cares for the mom with children with special needs and disabilities, who just needs a little break.
We all know what a precious gift and high calling motherhood is. There is not much in this world that can bring such joy into our lives, the way that our children do. But as wonderful as it is, we are still so very weak. There will be days when your weakness will catch up with you and you will not be able to hide it. It's okay to be a beautiful mess. When you find yourself in a day where motherhood is sucking all the life out of you, lean in to that perfect promise that he will renew your strength.
At the end of the day when it's just you and the Lord, there's not much else you can do but breathe & receive.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28